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New CatCab App: Pay with TigerOne, get home safe

A local cab service has launched a new phone application that enables Clemson students to call for rides and pay for them with their TigerOne card. 

The app, called Clemson CatCab, allows Clemson students to interactively call or text their location (on or within 2 miles of the university) to a CatCab driver. Once the driver picks the student up and takes them to their destination, students can pay for the ride with their TigerOne card. Drivers for the service are provided through the Yellow Cab of Anderson. 
The application also allows students to browse restaurants and stores that accept TigerOne card and request a ride to the location. 
Matthew Ridley, who developed the app, said he and Yellow Cab came up with the idea in response to Clemson students’ grievances regarding transportation. Ridley said he did some research asking students if they had problems getting to school or any general transportation issues. The majority said yes.
The Clemson Parking and Transportation Services website lists three options for student transportation within Clemson: CAT Bus, Safe Rides and Tiger Transit. CAT Bus and Safe Rides rely on a set schedule and only transport student to and from certain locations. Tiger Transit only operates within a set window at night.
A window, Ridley says, which may not line up with a student’s schedule.
“Basically,” Ridley puts it, “If you miss a bus…you’re stranded.”
Ridley also added that picking Uber can result in students having to pay surge prices. Surge prices are the increase in fare rates when there is more taxi demand than there are drivers. 
“During the games, Fridays and Saturdays—anytime when you really want to go out—you’re going to pay more than you usually would [with Uber],” said Ridley.“But when you don’t want to pay those surge prices when you’re coming from a Clemson Tiger game—stick with us.”
An additional feature of the CatCab service is that students don’t have to immediately pay for their rides. The app allows students to postpone payments if they don’t have any money on them. All students need to do is upload a picture of their TigerOne card to their profile on the app. 
“[When] a student gets in the car and they don’t have any money on their TigerOne card, they can say: ‘Hey, I don’t have any money today, but I can on Friday. You have my card, the number’s there.’ It sends a confirmation and that way we can take care of the payment on a later date, so you can still get your ride but postdate your payment.”
According to the CatCab website, the app was also created to promote safe driving, especially after nights downtown. Clemson Police records show a rise in reported DUIs over the past 10 years. In 2006, 9 DUIs were reported in the Clemson area. In 2016, there were 88. 
Ridley said the company’s priorities shifted when they heard about this data. 
“If we can save just one life by driving someone who doesn’t have money on a credit or debit card but they do on their TigerOne card. Use us. Save yourself. It’s a way when you can go from your apartment to downtown safely, in a financially secure way.”
CatCab driver John Wright said there are two things he would say to inebriated students willing to take the wheel.
“One, we’re cheaper than Uber. Two, we’re cheaper than a DUI.”
Wright and Ridley both said they want to initiate a rewards program for using the app where if students call for so many rides, then they can receive either a 
free ride or another prize. Ridley said they are open to new ideas even though the app is already up and running. He’s currently working on an interactive feature within the app where students can share their rides and give feedback on drivers.
“For me on the development side of things, it’s open sourced,” said Ridley. “That means if students have suggestions, we can take them into account every week as I further update the app.”
The application can be used on both Android and Apple devices and is available for download under “ClemsonCatCab” in the App Store and Google Play

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